SECCA partners with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for a new exhibition.

*Photo above: Ron Haviv, A Winter's Day of Discontent: Ferguson, MO, 2014.

September 8, 2016

Imagine news stories told through art. Stories such as the 2016 Presidential election, the Black Lives Matter movement, or climate change. What would they say?

That's the idea behind Dispatches, a new, multi-platform exhibition from the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) bringing together contemporary artists, Pulitzer-Prize winning photojournalists, and new media artists.

The exhibition features existing works and five new commissions, or 'dispatches,' inviting artists to respond to current events happening in our world. The exhibition includes the work of four journalist grantees of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, which is also partnering with SECCA to extend the exhibit's reach through public talks, school engagements and live, interactive performances during the exhibit run, Nov. 1, 2016 – Feb. 19, 2017.

The Pulitzer Center, based in Washington D.C., is an award-winning non-profit journalism organization promoting in-depth engagement with global affairs through the support of international journalism and an innovative program of outreach and education.

Dispatches was imagined and curated by Cora Fisher, SECCA's curator since 2013. Fisher's inspiration came from exploring how "the space of journalism has changed. Much of modern day reporting is quick response and in the moment. Telling live news stories through art makes us slow down and reflect of the frenetic pace around us."

Artistic response to current events is especially important in our digital culture. The rapid speed and high volume of news reporting makes it difficult to separate truth from fiction. The title of the exhibition raises the question of how you can cultivate thoughtfulness in relation to current events that are presented in a speedy and visually complex format.

"We are excited about this partnership with SECCA," said Jon Sawyer, executive director of the Pulitzer Center and a Winston-Salem native. "In our journalism projects we have used art wherever possible as a means of creating greater engagement with the global issues that affect us all. We welcome the opportunity to work with SECCA, local schools and other institutions in a community that is known as a national leader in the arts."

A dispatch is a journalism term used to describe what's happening on-the-scene and in real time during conflicts including times of war. Fisher continues "for this exhibit, the word "dispatch" also bears heavier connotations: to kill or to do away with, often suggesting the simultaneity of violence and speed."

The artistic pieces of the exhibit comment on that - Dispatches reveals the battles we fight abroad and at home.

Fisher explains "my hope for the exhibit is that attendees will leave with the idea that the time and reflection we give to art can carry over into digesting the news – to look past the headlines and into the stories."

Artists + Collectives

Doug Ashford, Rossella Biscotti, Sayler/Morris (The Canary Project), Mel Chin, Damon Davis, James Whitlow Delano, Ricardo Dominguez (Electronic Disturbance Theater), Hasan Elahi, For Freedoms, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Stacey L. Kirby, Eva and Franco Mattes (0100101110101101.ORG), !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Sheryl Oring, Trevor Paglen, Larry C. Price, Chloe Bass + George Scheer, and iO Tillett Wright.

VII Photo Agency: Ashley Gilbertson, Ron Haviv, Tomas van Houtryve, Ed Kashi, Sarker Protick, Maciek Nabrdalik, Sim Chi Yin and Danny Wilcox Frazier.

Curated by Cora Fisher


The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, N.C. seeks to enhance perspectives, inspire community and ignite new ideas at the intersection of art and its visitors. Located at 750 Marguerite Drive, the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. For hours, please visit SECCA is an affiliate of the North Carolina Museum of Art, a division of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. SECCA receives operational funding from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Additional funding is provided by the James G. Hanes Memorial Fund.

About the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

The Pulitzer Center supports over 150 reporting projects each year, working in partnership with leading news-media outlets across the globe on a wide range of global issues. Its educational programming includes classroom visits by journalists, on-line curricular resources, and partnerships with over two dozen colleges and universities.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDCR's mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state's history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.